You may have (or not) seen the new Bravo reality show “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male,” that gives a view of online dating from a male perspective. The show paints a somewhat douchey picture of the online dating concept, which is already terrifying enough for those singles out there contemplating it.
In this data heavy, digital age we live in, online dating is the norm not taboo. Many of us have tried it and those that haven’t may be hesitant for one reason or another.
If you live in Chicago one option to ease your online dating fears is Project Fixup. A service that allows you to take online dating offline. They do all the work once you complete your profile and for $15 a fixup? you certainly can’t beat that.
We asked fixup specialist Jessica Murray at Project Fixup to share some best practices to online dating offline.
1) Contact the person you are going to meet earlier in the day
The day you are supposed to meet your new date, be open to making the first move and send them a text/email/phone call that’s as simple as “Looking forward to meeting you!” It gets the other person excited and also serves as a subtle reminder (no one want to be accidently stood up).
2) Keep it casual in both dress and attitude
No need to overdo it! The first time you meet them you should treat it as an introduction for a first date—not as the first date. I would encourage wearing work casual and splitting the bill. By putting too much emphasis on the meeting then there is too much pressure for things to work out
3) Don’t let the stressors of your day into your date
Your boss has unreal expectations. Your mom is calling asking you when you are going to give her grandkids. Your landlord STILL has not fixed your leaky shower. All of these things can drive a person crazy and can provide distraction when you are walking into meet your online dating match. Clear your mind before you arrive and try to stay in the moment when you are there. This includes keeping the phone out of sight!
4) Have an open mind- appearance and connection
Maybe you have seen a picture and you have been chatting back and forth on OkCupid so you have an expectation set of what this person will look and be like or maybe you have been given a fixup on Project Fixup and you do not know what they look like but have crafted an image based on what their interests are. When you finally meet them in person, there is a good possibility that they will not look like how they do in their photos (for better or worse!) #catfished. This is ok and you are bound to find something else out about that person that you find attractive as long as you do not write them off at first glance.
5) Master the art of the follow up question
Hate awkward silences? Me too. The standard questions of what do you do, where are you from, etc. will not get you halfway through the first drink. You could come armed with an arsenal of questions to ask them, but one-sided question and answering will make it feel like an interview. The best way to keep conversation flowing is to learn how to find opportunities for follow up questions on the topics you are talking about. This will help you seamlessly jump from topic to topic and get to learn more about them past a surface level. Check out this article for some good tips to get you started!
6) A compliment goes a long way
Do they have a great smile? Do you like their choice of shoes? Tell them! A compliment will help take some of the uneasiness out of the air and is also an easy way to let someone know you are interested in them.
7) Live and learn
Maybe this person is your future spouse, someone fun to hang out with now and then or ended up not being of interest in at all, that is ok! Dating is a “you live and learn” process and each time you put yourself out there it helps you to really find out the qualities that matter to you and helps you get better at dating. Practice makes perfect right?
Jessica is the Fixup Specialist at Project Fixup. Setting up all the fixups and reading all the post fixups reviews has given her great insights into the dating world. Project Fixup is a better approach to meeting people that fixes up interesting people on fun outings. We do all the work to find a person we think you’d like to meet and organize a fixup that’s in line with your schedule and interests. We’re like a combination of your best friend and your personal assistant.
Looking to meet someone, Project Fixup is currently offering their craft beer fixup. Hurry and sign up before it’s closed SIGN UP HERE
*images via tumblr